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FBI Informant Jailed After Speaking To 10News

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJKP335YR1Q

Video published September 10, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: The jailing of an informant for talking to the media seems like a tale straight out of a Soviet-era police state. But that's exactly what FBI informant Andrea Gomez says happened to her after she spoke to JW August, managing editor, of 10news. J.W. August joins us to talk about what happened with Gomez.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

THE TAILING OF AN INFORMANT FOR TALKING TO THE MEDIA SEAMS LIKE A TALE STRAIGHT --SEEMS LIKE A TALE OUT OF A SOVIET POLICE STATE. BUT THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO ANDREA AFTER SHE SPOKE TO THE MANAGING EDITOR OF 10 NEWS. J.W. AUGUST JOINS TO US TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED. J.W., THIS STORY REALLY STARTS WITH WHAT GOMEZ SAYS WAS THE DISCLOSURE BY THE FBI OF HER AS AN INFORMANT. WHAT KIND OF INFORMANT WAS SHE?

SHE WAS THEIR TOP INFORMANT IN THE CASE AGAINST THE LOCAL MEXICAN MAFIA WHICH WAS A POWERFUL ORGANIZATION THAT RUNS THE POWERFUL STREET GANGS BASED OUT OF PRISONS. AND SHE WAS AN INSIDER. SHE ACTUALLY WAS THE CONDUIT FROM THE TOP OF THE HIERARCHY, THE T.O. OR THE LEO OF THE HIERARCHY TO THE STREET GANGS AND SOLDIERS ON THE STREETS. SHE WOULD COMMUNICATE FOR THE BOSS DOWN TO THE TROOPS.

Reporter: HOW DID THE FBI REVEAL HER IDENTITY?

I, IN TELLING THIS IN CHASING THIS STORY, AT ONE TIME, I WAS SITTING OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS WHEN THE BUS WAS GOING DOWN THE MAFIA TYPES. THE FBI HAD DONE A BIG BUST BASED ON THE INTELLIGENCE ANDREA GOMEZ GATHERED. BESIDE ME WAS A CAMERAMAN AND I THOUGHT ALL THE TIME CHANNEL 10 HAD THE EXCLUSIVE ON THIS, AND THIS CAMERA MAN'S SHOOTING EVERYTHING AND TELLS ME HE'S A FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER FOR THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL AND THAT THE FBI HAD GIVEN THEM COMPLETE ACCESS TO HER OPERATION FROM DAY ONE CALLED "KEYS TO THE CITY." I THOUGHT, WELL THAT'S PECULIAR. THE DOCUMENTARY CAME OUT AND REVEALED THINGS LIKE WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO CONCEAL, NOT REVEAL WHO SHE WAS BECAUSE SHE WAS A DEAD WOMAN IF THEY FOUND OUT, THE MEXICAN MAFIA. THEY SHOWED WHERE SHE LIVED WHAT KIND OF CAR SHE DROVE, VERY DISTINCTIVE AND TWO DIFFERENT CARS. WHILE THEY BLOTTED HER FACE AND GAVE HER A MALE VOICE, IF YOU WERE A MOB GUY, YOU'D KNOW IT WAS ANDREA.

SO WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FBI WHERE SECRECY IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY. WHAT KIND OF EXPLANATION HAVE THEY OFFERED FOR, IN EFFECT, DISCLOSING HER IDENTITY?

THEY WILL NOT TALK ABOUT IT. NEITHER THEY NOR THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL WILL TALK TO ME. I CALLED THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL MULTIPLE TIMES. I TRIED TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE FBI TO GO ON CAMERA TO TALK ABOUT THIS CASE. THEY WILL NOT TALK ABOUT IT. THE ONLY THING I GET IS SHE'S A BAD GIRL, SHE'S A BAD APPLE, AND THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO MOVE HER INTO THEIR WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM, WHICH IS RUN BY THE U.S. MARSHALS OFFICE. AND THERE WAS A LOT --I THINK A LOT OF THINGS WENT WRONG.

WE TRIED TO TALK TO THE FBI AS WELL. THEY SAID THEY WOULD NOT TALK BECAUSE THE MATTER IS PENDING BEFORE U.S. DISTRICT COURT. BUT ANDREA GOMEZ GOES ON TO SHARE HER STORY WITH YOU. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT?

THE FBI IS MONITORING US WHICH UNBEE KNOWNst TO ME, SHE CONTACTS ME BECAUSE I AM WHAT SHE CALLED HER INSURANCE POLICY. BECAUSE HER DEAL WITH THE FBI TO BE IN THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM IS FALLING APART. SHE'S FRIGHTENED. SHE CONTACTS ME AND E-MAILS ME THAT THE FBI'S INTERCEPTED THEM. SHE'S HIDING OUT IN THE CAROLINAS AT THAT TIME. THEY MOVED HER TO THERE, THE FBI DID, PREPARING TO MOVE HER INTO THE WITNESS PROTECTION PROGRAM. SHE'S HIDING OUT THERE, SHE CONNECTS WITH ME AND SAYS THE WHOLE THING'S BLOWING UP, THE HANDLERS HANDLED JUST HER, THE RELATIONSHIP'S STRESSFUL, I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON. THE FBI INTERCEPTS THE E-MAILS, FLIES AGENTS OUT OF SAN DIEGO TO CERRO HE LINE THAT -- CAROLINA, ACTUALLY SOUTH CAROLINA, AND CONVINCES THE LOCAL SHERIFF TO PUT HER IN JAIL FOR OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE.

SO QUICKLY, WE HAVE 30 SECONDS.

OKAY.

HOW DO YOU PERCEIVE THE DRUG CHARGES AGAINST HER AND HER SPEAKING TO YOU? IS THERE A LINK BETWEEN THE TWO?

I'M JUST CONCERNED THAT THEY MAY BE PUNISHING HER FOR TALKING TO ME. THEY ALREADY HAD HER SPEND 60 DAYS IN JAIL IN SOUTH CAROLINA FOR TALKING TO ME. I'M WONDERING IF THE DRUG CHARGES --NECESSITY HAVE THE TOP U.S. PROSECUTOR IN THE CITY GOING AFTER HER FOR WHAT'S SUPPOSED TO BE A LOW-LEVEL DRUG CHARGE.

THIS IS A COMPELLING STORY. THANK YOU FOR TELLING IT.

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